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From Ahmed Patel’s RS win to Trump’s warning to North Korea, top stories for today

A lowdown on the top stories of the day.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2017 07:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Ahmed Patel,Rajya Sabha,North Korea
Congress leader Ahmed Patel after casting his vote for the Rajya Sabha election at the secretariat in Gandhinagar.(PTI)

After midnight drama, Congress’ Ahmed Patel wins Rajya Sabha seat in Gujarat; setback for BJP despite Amit Shah, Smriti Irani victory

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday after an action-packed vote in Gujarat that dealt a blow to the ruling BJP. BJP president Amit Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani won the two other seats vacant in the state. The outcome ended a fortnight of political drama that turned the usually staid polls for Parliament’s Upper House into an acrimonious prestige battle between the Congress and BJP. “This is not just my victory. It is a defeat of the most blatant use of money power, muscle power and abuse of state machinery,” Patel tweeted at 1.53am on Wednesday. He needed 45 votes at the time of polling. But it went down after the poll panel declared the votes of the two Congress rebels invalid for allegedly showing their ballot papers to BJP president Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani — both candidates in the biennial election.

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Gujarat Rajya Sabha election: When Congress, BJP took the fight to Election Commission over two votes

It was a day of twists and turns in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls on Tuesday, where Congress leader Ahmed Patel won the third seat. What added further suspense to the day of claims and counter claims was the suspension of the counting after the Congress complained to the Election Commission seeking to declare two votes of its rebel lawmakers invalid. The Congress said its two rebel legislators had showed ballot paper to the BJP polling agent. “We had demanded that video tape should be run, our claim be checked and two votes should be cancelled,” said Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil, adding, “If required, we are ready to take this fight to the Supreme Court.”

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Sonia Gandhi at Congress meeting: Anguished by assault on freedom, vigilantes a threat to liberty

Congress president Sonia Gandhi said on Tuesday the party must defend liberty and freedom of individuals and institutions and accused the BJP government of encouraging those who flout the law and unleash oppression. Speaking at a special CWC meeting here to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement, she also expressed concerns over the rise in cases of “self vigilantism” and said not a day passed when the liberty of individuals was trampled upon. “The Congress party must always remain on the frontline in defence of liberty and numerous values associated with liberty, and the institutions that go with it. We must never bow before those who assault the liberty of the individual and of society,” she said.

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JD(U) sacks Sharad Yadav’s confidante from post of party general secretary

The Janata Dal (United) on Tuesday removed Arun Shrivastav from the post of party general secretary for “unauthorisedly” writing to the Returning Officer of Gujarat Assembly appointing an election agent for the crucial Rajya Sabha election there. A letter to this effect was served to Srivastav by party secretary general K C Tyagi. “The party president (Nitish Kumar) has taken a serious note of the issue and has relieved you of your responsibility from the post of general secretary,” Tyagi said in his letter to Srivastav, considered a close confidante of senior party leader Sharad Yadav. The lone JD(U) MLA in Gujarat, Chhotu Vasava, on Tuesday claimed he voted for Congress’ nominee Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha polls as the ruling BJP has done little for the tribal people and the poor.

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Chandigarh stalking case: Probe hits roadblock, courtesy poor CCTV footage

Even after four days of registering a case of stalking against Vikas Barala, son of Haryana Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Subhash Barala, and his friend Ashish Kumar, the city police are not sure whether to invoke the charge of attempt to kidnap against the duo. Facing flak for diluting the charges against Vikas, 23, and Ashish, 27, the police late on Monday evening claimed to have retrieved closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage from five spots along the route on which Varnika Kundu, 29, alleged the two stalked her on Friday night. However, sources said the footage is of poor quality and is not of much help to corroborate the charge of kidnap bid, as alleged by Varnika, and the police will have to rely heavily on her statement for taking the case to its logical end.

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Babri dispute: Shia Waqf Board says mosque can come up at a distance

A mosque can be built in a Muslim-dominated area at a reasonable distance from the “most revered place of birth of Ram” in Ayodhya, the Shia wakf board told the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The affidavit submitted by the Uttar Pradesh Shia board takes a position opposite to that of the Sunni board that claims ownership of the disputed site and rejects Hindu groups’ claims to the spot, highlighting differences within the Muslim community over the contentious issue. “To bring a quietus to the issue, masjid (mosque) can be located in a Muslim-dominated area at a reasonable distance from the most revered place of birth of Ram,” said the 30-page affidavit.

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Learn Kannada or get fired: Govt body tells bank employees in Karnataka

The Kannada Development Authority (KDA) has asked all nationalised, scheduled and rural banks functioning in Karnataka to ensure that all its non-Kannada speaking staff learn the language in six months. The authority has also asked them to set up Kannada units at all their branches in the state, in line with Hindi units which exist for the implementation of the language. Pointing out that candidates are selected through examinations conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection, KDA president SG Siddaramaiah in letters to banks said the IBPS in its application itself makes it clear that preference in selection should be given to candidates who know the local language.

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Trump says North Korea will be met with ‘fire and fury’ if it threatens US

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday North Korea “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it threatened the United States again. “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Trump told reporters in New Jersey. As tensions escalated, Pyongyang said it was “carefully examining” a plan to strike Guam, site of a US military base. A North Korean military spokesman, in a statement carried by state-run KCNA news agency, said the plan would be put into practice once leader Kim Jong Un makes a decision. In another statement citing a different military spokesman, North Korea said it could carry out a pre-emptive operation if there were signs of a US provocation.

Up to 100 feared dead, thousands injured in China earthquake

A 6.5-magnitude earthquake rattled southwest China late Tuesday, killing at least five people, with up to 100 feared dead, according to a government estimate. China’s National Commission for Disaster Reduction estimated that as many as 100 people may have perished, based on 2010 census data of the mountainous, sparsely populated region. Over 130,000 houses may be damaged, it added in a statement posted on its website, based on a preliminary analysis of the disaster in a remote region of Sichuan province. The quake occurred around 9.20 pm, not far from the site of a massive 8.0-magnitude earthquake that struck in 2008 leaving 87,000 people dead or missing.

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South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma survives no-confidence motion again

South African President Jacob Zuma again survived a no-confidence vote in Parliament Tuesday in the most serious attempt yet to unseat him after months of growing anger over alleged corruption and a sinking economy, while his party that has ruled since the end of apartheid continued to fracture. Zuma survived six previous attempts to dislodge him in Parliament, but this was the first held by secret ballot after parliamentary speaker Baleka Mbete made the surprise decision to allow it. Opposition parties hoped it would encourage legislators with the ruling African National Congress party to vote, without fear of retaliation, against Zuma, under whose leadership the economy has slipped into recession. Instead, ANC members in the chamber began singing shortly before the results were announced, while supporters outside started to dance.

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‘Sword-fighter’ Ravindra Jadeja is world’s No. 1 all-rounder in Test cricket rankings

Ravindra Jadeja, addressed by his captain Virat Kohli as a ‘sword-fighter’ has edged out Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan to claim the top rank among all-rounders apart from maintaining pole position in the bowlers’ chart in the latest ICC Test cricket rankings. Jadeja has 438 points among all-rounders while Shakib has 431. It has been a season to remember for the Indian all-rounder. In the five-Test series against England last year—which Virat Kohli’s men won 4-0 – Jadeja took 26 wickets and scored 224 runs at an average of 37.33. Kohli even pointed out Ravindra Jadeja’s rapid improvement as a lower order batsman who can contribute consistently and picked him as a perfect foil to Ravichandran Ashwin’s match-winning performances.

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First Published: Aug 09, 2017 07:21 IST